Last updated: December 17, 2021 at 10:45 am
Learning to soundproof a door may sound like a tedious process, but it isn’t. Proper planning or a professional can easily help you create a soundproof door. Just like windows, doors are famous for letting sound leak in and out in any event when they’re shut.
In this article:
We’ll go through details such as solid vs hollow door, blocking the gap underneath the door, and using a soundproof insulating material such as Green Glue.
- 1 How to Soundproof an Internal Door
- 2 1. Seal the Gaps
- 3 Reasons to Soundproof a Door
- 4 Do I Need Permission If I’m Renting?
- 5 Conclusion
How to Soundproof an Internal Door
Ensure you check if the door is wood or hollow. Generally, hollow doors are harder to soundproof compared to solid core doors. However, you can likewise soundproof hollow doors with some extra effort.
1. Seal the Gaps
The cheapest first step is to seal it as tight as possible. Replace old worn-out seals. The sounds passing through the door are not the main problem, but the sound passing around the door. Indeed, even a little space can allow much more sound through than with the entire door open. Thus, the initial step ought to be to seal the edge of the door. Adjust the hinges to ensure the tightest seal possible.
- You can fit quality border acoustic seals to every one of the four sides, including a retractable seal at the base
- A cheaper but less effective solution is ‘batwing’ seals to three sides and a flexible door sweep to the bottom of the door
- Use mounting foam or professional putty to fill up the gaps. Drill in a couple of little holes in one side of the door (they can be close to the edges or even at the edges). You could spray some insulating expanding foam into the door. But you’d have to begin low on the door, let it expand and solidify, then add more from another foot or two up
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Most likely, you’ll also get a better fill if you can use a longer tube than is usually supplied to get more foam in the centre of the door. The idea is to have it filled up as completely as possible. After drying, treat the seams and the remaining holes with a professional caulking gun. The lock mechanism should be removed, as this would provide a much larger potential viewing, foam-addition, and knobs. Hence prevent you from gumming up the lock.
The sealing method within the door wouldn’t be visible or add any significant weight. Thus, if you don’t make a mess, the method would be undetectable when it’s time to leave.
2. Add a Door Gasket
Glue the door gasket around the doorway perimeter to improve the soundproofing of the door. Self-adhesive tapes, rubber, and other adjustable gaskets can serve as door gaskets. Place it between the door and the frame along with the header and jambs.
Select the correct thickness to guarantee a tight opening and shutting of the door. Ensure that the lock is closed easily.
3. Install a Door Sweep
Door sweeps allow you to close any gaps at the bottom of the door. Better sound insulation and sealing of the door can be achieved with the door sweep. They close the gaps between the base of the door and the floor. The door sweeps also help to prevent drafts and various sounds in the room.
The largest opening in most walls is a doorway. One of the best approaches to prevent noise from moving from one room to the next is to introduce (and weather-strip) strong acoustic doors. Something you can get done without much stress, something you can occur whether you’re remodelling or building.
This will also protect your home/flat from unnecessary noise from outside. It helps to seal doors’ edges from noise, odours, and atmospheric influences. Remove the old stripping using a spatula. Then insert the desired length into the door frame.
A self-adhesive strip of rubber or any other alternative material should be attached where the leaf meets the frame. Ensure the door completely opens with no effort and closes with no effort. This is going to help a lot with voices and footsteps.
Despite this, door slamming will still transit through the walls, which can’t be eliminated. Be prepared to discover that a significant part of the noise is coming through the walls. Build structures even after dealing with the door.
5. Install Soundproof Panels
If you don’t want to or aren’t able to replace the door, you could consider adding soundproof panels to the door. An easy do-it-yourself option is to attach a thick piece of plywood to the door.
If you’d like to take it one step further, though, you can buy soundproof panels. They are more expensive than plywood but still affordable. Made from a variety of materials, including foam, rubber and solid wood, they add extra mass to decrease the power of the sound wave and prevent most sounds from making it through.
You can easily nail these panels to the door or use strips of adhesive if you don’t want to damage the door.
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6. Replace the Door (if Hollow)
The easiest way to avoid unnecessary noise is to replace the door with noise control doors and enclosures. They are only set up to suit customer’s necessities utilizing designed acoustic wall and roof panels, doors and windows.
Changing the door to a thicker solid door would be a major improvement. Most interior doors are of hollow core construction. They are very ineffective at blocking sound. Solid-core doors are generally more expensive, but they are also available in a much broader selection of elegant styles.
The key thing to remember when trying to soundproof anything is that you need mass. The greater the mass you put in its way, the less likely the sound is to penetrate. A hollow door is filled with nothing but air, and air is what sound travels through best.
Any solid core door combats this by increasing the mass the sound has to travel through. However, some are specifically made with soundproof material to further enhance their blocking ability.
Remember to always pick a solid core front door with high noise insulation characteristics. You could try asking to get the door replaced or if you’re willing to pay.
The two main materials for a solid core door are either medium-density fibreboard (MDF) if you need a lower cost option and solid wood if you want a premium finish. If you want the ultimate in soundproofing, however, you can get professionally made soundproof doors.
The company will make the door to your exact specifications using premium materials. The door will fit in the frame exactly to allow no gaps for sound to penetrate. As these doors are made to order, you can’t just pick one up. The lead time to receive your door is likely to be a few weeks.
Because they are custom made, these doors have the highest possible level of soundproofing. A good quality solid core door will block 25-30 dB, but a professional door can block as much as 55 dB! Getting this level of soundproofing will be substantially more expensive than other doors. Most companies charge from £2000-£3000. You’d normally only consider it if you need to block sound for audio or video recording or if there’s something extremely loud you need to block out.
7. Add a Layer of Soundproof Paint
If you need to block a relatively low-level sound and don’t want to replace the door, then soundproof paint is an option. Thicker than regular paint, soundproof paint is bulked up using fillers made with thermacels and ceramic microspheres. The microspheres increase the density of the paint, and the thermacels are pigments held in vacuum-sealed packages which absorb sound.
This option won’t block a lot of sound on its own but paired with others, it will boost the soundproof level of the door. It’s more expensive than regular paint but still a lot cheaper than replacing the door.
8. Use a Soundproof Curtain or Blanket
If you want to block more noise and even make a nice design feature, you can hang a soundproof curtain or blanket across the door. Both of these options are specifically designed to block sound, and as they are meant to be hung up, they are easy to install. They come in a wide range of patterns and colours, and so you can match them with the decor in the room.
They won’t block all noise, but if you buy a good quality blanket or curtain, it will block anywhere from 50% to 80% of sound.
Reasons to Soundproof a Door
The first reason is to ensure a complete job. The door is the biggest hole in your room, so even if the walls are thoroughly soundproofed, you need to attend to the door to complete the job.
The reason you may need a soundproof room in the first place include:
- Keeping a child’s bedroom as peaceful as possible so they aren’t woken by noise from the rest of the house.
- Blocking noise that enters the home from the front when you’re trying to sleep at the back
- Creating a quiet place for kids to study and adults to work
- If you work from home in a role where information must remain confidential. This helps ensure sensitive information is not overheard.
- Finally, you may want to keep sound in a room. Examples might be a kid’s playroom or place where you make music or play noisy computer games.
Do I Need Permission If I’m Renting?
There are no definite rules, so the first place to go to answer this question would be your tenancy agreement and see if there are any sections dealing with redecoration. If not, then if you could contact your landlord or letting agent directly. As long as any jobs are completed to a good standard, most landlords will be happy to grant permission as it’s likely to increase the value of their property at no cost to them.
Be wary of completing any jobs without permission. If the landlord isn’t happy on the next inspection or when you move out, they may bill you for the cost of returning the property to its former condition.
MDF (medium density fibre) or solid wood doors are preferable over hollow doors because they create a better sound barrier around doors. Ensure you include closed-cell foam tape or weather stripping around door frames.
In case you’re on a limited budget, peel-and-stick soundproofing material on a hollow-core door will increase its sound dampening capacity to some degree. It’s made particularly for doors, and it comes in door-sized sheets. Whatever your decision, ensure you have a cosy fitting base door seal set up, as well.
Make sure it incorporates the space underneath it, which must be sealed by threshold or automatic door bottom. You can drop as low as 22 dB by leaving about 1/2″ open at the base of an 84″ door, which you’d perceive as 1/4 as loud. Upgrade to acoustical soundproof glass doors or install sound dampening drapes if you have sliding glass patio doors.